Thursday, March 18, 2010

Photo Mash-Ups in 7th and 8th

Last week, I gave the seventh grade a choice of several projects that I want to accomplish before the end of the school year. Among the choices: editing photos, Chatzy, and Scratch. Editing photos was their first choice.

Combining Photos
I took photos of the seventh grade students. I assigned an eighth grader in each class to take the photos. Each student had two photos taken - one sitting and one standing.

In order to make the images more manageable memory-wise on the machines, I resized them to 800x600 pixels. I gathered a variety of images taken in and around school over the last few years. The object was to make an interesting image by combining a sitting or standing shot into a different background. It was a short one day project. Some students did it because it was their assigned task. Other students enjoyed creating multiple images.

The Gimp Commands
I reviewed a few simple tasks to make the project work.

The lasso tool was used to trace around the sitting or standing image. Next, they used Edit - Copy and Edit - Paste as New Image to isolate the image on a transparent background. The eraser tool is used to eliminate any extra parts of the image that are not required in the final merged shot. We discussed the need to save images with transparent backgrounds as GIF files.

I had the students select the new background. They had to make sure that both images were viewed at 100% size so they knew exactly how much they had to reduce their image with the Image - Resize Image command.

Finally, the shot of the student was combined using Edit - Copy and Edit - Paste Into. The blue four-headed arrow slide the student to the final position on the image before it was Layer - Anchor Layer command was selected.

Finished Product
The final combined image was saved as a JPEG, brought into Word, and printed. If a student did not want to take the image home, I kept it for display in the hall. The project will lead into a very good discussion next week on believing what you see on the Internet. We will use Chatzy for the discussion.

Image Source:
Oro, Ann. "Boys in the Box." njtechteacher's photostream. 16 Mar 2010. 18 Mar 2010.

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